Henry Golding has been cast alongside Dakota Johnson in Netflix’s adaptation of the Jane Austen novel “Persuasion.”
The movie will serve as a modern-day retelling of the romantic drama, centering on the conforming Anne Elliot (Johnson), who lives with her snobby family on the brink of bankruptcy. When Anne, unmarried at 27-years-old, reconnects with Frederick Wentworth, a man she was once persuaded to reject, she faces a second chance at love.
Golding, who shot to stardom as the heartthrob Nick Young in “Crazy Rich Asians” and later led the romantic comedies “A Simple Favor” and “Last Christmas,” surprisingly has not been cast as the love interest. Instead, he will play Mr. Elliot, the cousin of Johnson’s character. Netflix has not announced the actor who will play Frederick Wentworth.
Carrie Cracknell, known for directing Jake Gyllenhaal in “Sea Wall/ A Life” on Broadway, is stepping behind the camera in her feature directorial debut. The screenplay was written by Ron Bass and Alice Victoria Winslow.
The film is expected to begin filming this month. MRC Film, the studio behind “Knives Out” and “The Lovebirds,” is developing “Persuasion” with Netflix. (Variety’s parent company PMC is a partner with MRC in the PMRC venture that owns Billboard, Vibe and the Hollywood Reporter.)
Andrew Lazar and Christina Weiss Lurie will serve as producers. Executive producers include Elizabeth Cantillon via her untitled MRC Film Romance label, Michael Constable and David Fliegel.
“Persuasion” was Austen’s last novel before she died in 1817. The property has been adapted for the screen numerous times, most notably for the 2007 TV movie starring Sally Hawkins.
A separate production of “Persuasion” — with “Succession” actor Sarah Snook set to play Anne Elliot — is currently being developed at Searchlight Pictures. Mahalia Belo is directing that version, which was first announced in September 2020. It will be written by Jessica Swale.
Deadline Hollywood first reported the news of Golding’s casting.
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